603 Spotlight: Aubrey Mennella

Name:

Aubrey Mennella

Current City/Town:

North Conway

Native City/Town:

North Conway

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have been tattooing locally, while guest artisting across the country, and abroad for over 11 years. I have a BFA concentrated in illustration from Laguna College of Art and Design and furthered my studies at The Animation Academy Hollywood. I own and operate a private studio called The Common Place Tattoo Co, that has been quietly existing in the North Conway Village. With my work being quiet specific, most of my appointments are long days working on large scale pieces, with a client base that travel on average 4 hours from neighboring cities. Because I also enjoy traveling, I guest artist with other studios throughout the year, working annually in Paris, Vienna, Tahoe, Wyoming, and parts of California. This lifestyle is something that may have been more difficult to achieve say a few decades ago, but now the massive advertising power of social media enables me to exist as a fully operating business in the Mount Washington Valley, while at the same time globally travel with my work. I think it is important to feel positive and continual momentum in your professional life, and also be able to dedicate equal time and energy to your passions (mine existing in the mountains, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, dirt biking, and dabbling in golf). I have found living in the Mount Washington Valley provides me the opportunity to do both.

Why did you choose to stay in New Hampshire?

I was born and raised in our White Mountains, growing up as a child in the downtown North Conway Village. As a young adult I spent 12 years exploring the possibilities of other sport-based parts of the country, living in Colorado, Tahoe, and Northern and Southern California. As an outdoor enthusiast, things like the deepest and lightest powder appealed to me, along with sunny days and warm weather. There are excellent sports destination towns around the country that can facilitate this, but over time it became apparent that many of these locations are either so remote that longterm living would greatly stunt social and career growth, or conversely these areas are so excellent and accessible that they become heavily commercialized with extreme seasonal influxes of tourists, to the point where living becomes off-putting and overpriced.
What is unique about the Mount Washington Valley is, rather than existing as one small town at the base of a mountain, it is a collection of many townships that offer different social, career, and living options, yet still come together as one community. This makes the area feel large enough for personal growth, while at the same time it offers an expansive selection of outdoor beauty and activities to fulfill one’s passions. It is also important to note that there is an unique genuineness to the people in this area. I think it takes strength and authenticity to live in areas such as these, as the pluses and the minuses can be more extreme, but this builds character in a community and in this one you will find a great deal of interesting, thinking, heartfelt people.

What would you say to someone that is considering moving to New Hampshire?

My advice to someone thinking about moving to the Mount Washington Valley, would be that it is not for the faint of heart. The weather can get cold, and financial opportunities are not as robust as one might find in the city. However, if you value quality of life, and quality of life for you leans more towards experience, living in a beautiful location, enjoying the outdoors, and having a genuine community around you, there is an amplitude of opportunity the White Mountains have to offer. If you are thoughtful about things, there is potential to build or be a part of a successful business here. Our tourism is growing, and there are opportunities to move this growth in a positive direction. This is an unique area and we need more unique businesses and minds to keep it this way.

Tell us some of your favorite places in the state or your region. i.e, restaurants, recreational or cultural activities, etc.

One of the perks of living in this area is the great selection of eating options. Most of our restaurants are locally owned and operated, and the creativity, quality, and pride these owners put into their establishments is really commendable. With so many good choices and each place being so unique, my advice would be to figure out what your are in the mood for and keep it local. One hot spot I enjoy is Trails End. What better way to celebrate the valley than eating a massive ice-cream while overlooking the Presidentials…

What do you believe to be the “New Hampshire” advantage?

One advantage about New Hampshire is that your motto is “Live Free or Die.” This is an extremely useful and fulfilling retort in variety of situations.

Anything else that we may have missed that you would like to include?

My work can be viewed at aubme.com.

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